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ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT
Source: Trump Lashed Out At Staff For Keeping Cameras Away From El Paso, Dayton Visits As Aides Admit Visits Didn't Go Well; Trump Announces Country's Number Two Intel Official Is Leaving Administration Days After National Intel Chief Coats Resigns; Trump Names James Maguire As Acting Director Of National Intelligence; Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) Is Interviewed About Him Considering Formally Recommending Articles Of Impeachment Against Trump; Billionaire Tom Steyer Is Interviewed About His Presidential Run. Aired 7-8p ET
Aired August 8, 2019 - 19:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN HOST: All right. Jason Carroll, thank you very much for that update. I'm Jim Acosta. Thanks very much for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts right now.
ERIN BURNETT, CNN HOST: OUTFRONT next, Trump aides conceding. The President's trip to console two grieving cities did not go as planned. A cell phone video shows Trump bragging about his crowd size during in a hospital visit in El Paso. Plus, breaking news, chaos in the intelligence community. The President's number two intel official out just days after her boss Dan Coats departure was announced. Plus, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler now supports impeachment an inquiry. What is changed? He's my guests. Let's go out.
And good evening. I'm Erin Burnett. OUTFRONT tonight, the breaking news, Trump fumes. The President angry over the coverage of his trip to two cities where gunmen allegedly massacred 31 people. According to aides, Trump's trip did not go according to plan. For one, CNN learning a majority of the patients didn't want to meet with the President of the United States.
In fact that one hospital, they had to bring back two patients because the eight victims who were still being treated declined to meet with President Trump. And the President also angry that his staff kept the press from following his every move. Seems ironic, right, since the President always talks about his hatred for the press. Well, it's not really true.
He wants the press around. So why did his staff keep the media away? Well, aides actually are telling CNN why tonight. They tell us at this hour that they feared an embarrassing moment like this one which was captured on cell phone video.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I was here three months ago. We made a speech and we had a - what was the name of the arena? That place was ... (CROSSTALK)
TRUMP: ... packed, right? That was some crowd.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for (inaudible) ...
TRUMP: And we had twice the number outside. And then you had this crazy. Beto had like 400 people in a parking. They said his crowd was wonderful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: So that's the President talking about his crowd size at his February rally in El Paso when he's at a hospital, comforting those who are recovering, families of those who died. Obviously, it's a tone-deaf as a topic, but it's also reminding everybody of that rally where he said this about immigrants.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: We are cutting loose, dangerous criminals into our country. Murders, murders, murders, killings, murders.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric, of course, was echoed by the gunman accused of killing 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso. Pamela Brown is OUTFRONT. And Pamela, so how is the White House responding to the fallout? Obviously, sources telling you and your colleagues that there's a lot of concerns.
PAMELA BROWN, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Erin. Some of President Trump's own aides concede that his visits to the two cities in mourning did not go as the White House had hoped. An administration official says President Trump is lashing out and has been lashing out at his staff about the media coverage of the visits in the wake of new video that you just showed, Erin, where the President compared his crowd size during the visit to that of El Paso native and Democratic presidential contender Beto O'Rourke.
The president focusing on crowd sizes after thinking those first responders and staff at the hospital who had just been treating multiple victims of the mass shooting there. Now, the administration official blame the media for the President being upset even though, Erin, the White House blocked reporters and their cameras from entering the two hospitals during his visits to Ohio and Texas, citing privacy concerns.
But then after that, the President was later upset we're told that he wasn't getting the credit he believed he deserved. This, Erin, as a source tells CNN almost all of the patients at a second hospital in El Paso, Del Sol Medical Center also declined to meet with the President and the White House ultimately decided not to set up a visit there, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Pamela, thank you very much. OUTFRONT now, Patrick Healy, "New York Times" Politics Editor, Sabrina Siddiqui, White House Correspondent for The Guardian, and David Cay Johnston, Veteran Investigative Reporter who has covered then Donald Trump, of course, before he was president for a very, very long time.
In a moment, I want to replay that sound bite of the President with the cell phone video. But first, Patrick, your reaction to the president bragging about crowd sizes and, of course, making a jab about Beto's lack of crowd sizes when he's at a hospital where victims of a mass shooting are recovering and some died.
PATRICK HEALY, POLITICS EDITOR, THE NEW YORK TIMES: That's the thing. I mean, the shock value with President Trump has worn off over the last two and a half years, but this one takes it up again. This is a pretty shocking statement.
He brags about crowd sizes with his inauguration. He brags about crowd sizes with his rallies. But to be bragging about how he did in El Paso when he is supposed to be in a hospital delivering messages of empathy, of gratitude to the first responders, of trying to bring together a community that he knows is split over his visit. And instead he goes, he makes it about himself and then he makes it about one of his political opponents.
[19:05:02] There's a smallness to it, speaking of size. There's just a smallness to it that, again, I think we've gotten used to a lot of things since President but it still is shocking.
BURNETT: So Sabrina, I want to play the moment again. This moment taken yesterday in El Paso when the President is at a hospital there to console those who are grieving and let me just play it again, so people can understand with that context, again, what they're about to see.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TRUMP: I was here three months ago. We made a speech and we had a - what was the name of the arena? That place was ...
TRUMP: ... packed, right? That was some crowd.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you for (inaudible) ...
TRUMP: And we had twice the number outside. And then you had this crazy. Beto had like 400 people in a parking. They said his crowd was wonderful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Sabrina, I think anybody watching that, this is one of those moments you can say, "Put aside your politics." If that were you, is that what you would say at a hospital when you're there to console people who are fighting for their lives in a hospital where people died in a mass shooting? SABRINA SIDDIQUI, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, THE GUARDIAN US: Well,
this is a president who has repeatedly failed to demonstrate empathy and to fulfill that role of healer and chief that you so often see from presidents in times of tragedy. The shooting in El Paso is being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism.
Authorities over there have pointed to a manifesto that was allegedly authored by the gunman consisting of a lot of the kind of anti- immigrant language that we've heard from President Trump on the campaign trail and from the White House. And so in addition to not having an appropriate response, suffice it to say, while he's visiting with victims, he has also willfully chosen not to reach out to the Hispanic community at a time when they have been under attack, not to even engage in a discussion or a debate over the role that his own rhetoric might have played or might continue to play in inciting violence.
And so that's another other piece of this conversation that's being lost when you look at the aftermath, is that the President is refusing to even acknowledge what the impact of his words have been. And I think what that means is he's just not going to change.
BURNETT: David, it is a moment, I think, as both Sabrina and Patrick are saying, a moment that sometimes you just need to take a step back and say that is not okay. And I'm sure though, David, from the person that you know over all these years, you're not surprised. But yet still on a certain level, you would think he wouldn't have done that.
DAVID CAY JOHNSTON, AUTHOR, THE MAKING OF DONALD TRUMP: Well, he's not capable of empathy. Donald does not see you and everybody else in this country, Erin, as people, you're objects, and he is the center of all things and all that matters is himself and he's desperately insecure.
He's the 13-year-old boy who was packed off to a military academy, where they made it a point to humiliate the younger boys like him at this academy, and he has never grown out of being a 13-year-old boy. He can't express empathy. He can't remove himself from the picture and see the he is not what matters here. It is the people who are the victims of this and the first responders who step forward, because it's who he is. He is a petty little man.
BURNETT: So Patrick, let me ask you, because there is a hospital official in El Paso who said that the general consensus there was that he lacked empathy. I'm hesitant to make too much of that because the person is not named. They're not saying they're politics, but yet we have the video of what he did.
What I do want to raise though is it comes in contrast to what we heard Democrats say he did in Dayton. He slammed the Mayor and he slammed the Senator, we don't really know why. But this is after they said he was consoling. He was comforting. They were glad he came in that hospital. Now, who knows whether there was an unscripted moment like the one that was captured on cell phone here.
HEALY: Sure. BURNETT: But the point is, whether it was acting or not, he was able
to do it, but just not more than once in one day or ...
HEALY: I think El Paso still represents, to some extent, sort of Beto on fighting ground in terms of the border and his issues on immigration. He came out of Dayton. He was then upset about the Mayor, about Sherrod Brown, Democrats who he felt were misrepresenting. This is still a president, even after all these years, he still expects to get credit for doing, frankly, the basics for a president in times of tragedy.
I'm sure he was looking at the coverage. He wasn't happy about it when he was on the plane ride to El Paso and then he sort of gets down there. And again as El Paso --
BURNETT: ... about every rival being at 1 percent or 0 percent.
HEALY: Exactly and the bragging starts. I mean the need to feel better about himself and sort of bigger about himself is so central and we've seen it all along the way.
BURNETT: So Sabrina, what's your understanding of what happened because there were two hospitals obviously in El Paso where people are being treated. He goes to one of them and not one of the eight patients who were being treated at the time we're willing to see him.
[19:10:01] So they bring back two others who were, he visited with them. Did his staff know that? I mean, did he unknowingly walk into a hospital where no one wanted him to be?
SIDDIQUI: Well, you can take a step back and make the case that no one wanted him to visit either Dayton or El Paso to begin with. Some of the local officials were willing to receive him because he's the president. But they cautioned him that these are people who are really hurting in El Paso specifically, because the gunman targeted a predominantly Hispanic community.
And because there's been conversations about a potential link between the President's rhetoric and the motivations of the shooter, I think there are a lot of people over there who just don't want to see him right now or don't want to hear from him right now. Whether or not the White House staff really appreciated that level of opposition to his visit or was aware that some of those victims didn't want to see him, that we don't yet know.
But, again, I think it speaks to how he's more frustrated with how he's being received in a time of crisis and how he's being perceived. He's very much just fixated on himself. He saw former Vice President Joe Biden attacking him on the campaign trail and so he made it all political.
BURNETT: So David, what I'm curious about is, I mean, forgetting whether there was a mistake made right or he wasn't prepared to get that sense of sort of rejection, which would be hard. It was still a moment to say, "All right. I understand people don't want to meet with me and I'm sorry about that. But I want to do whatever -" I mean, there's still something you could have said that would have been gracious and somewhat humble. And obviously, he chose to not take that path.
JOHNSTON: Well, let's go back to when Sergeant La David Johnson and three other American soldiers were ambushed and killed in Africa and Trump calls the widow of Sergeant Johnson. He bungled it. He didn't know how to express sympathy. That's what he signed up for, is approximately the words that Trump spoke.
Because as I said, he can't express empathy with other people. It's not there and he can't connect the idea that his rhetoric about murderers and invasion and rapists are motivating some people, a tiny number of people to be sure, but some people to go out and commit mass murder and that's what these are, mass murders.
It's just not in him, Erin. It's not who he is and he's not going to change about that. He's not going to learn from the experience and get better at it.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you all very much. I appreciate it. And next, we have breaking news this hour, the President's number two intelligence official is out. Her resignation coming just days after the Director of National Intelligence, her boss resigned. So that's number one, gone, number two, gone and that's not good.
Plus, breaking news, a source says the Chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee says he's now for an impeachment inquiry. So Jerry Nadler, the Chairman, is my guest tonight. And the 2020 candidates descend on, a new poll showing Elizabeth Warren surging. Should Joe Biden be worried tonight?
[19:16:50] BURNETT: Breaking News, the country's number two intelligence official leaving the Trump administration. President Trump announcing it about Sue Gordon. Tweeting, quote, Sue Gordon is a great professional with a long and distinguished career. I've gotten to know Sue over the past two years and have developed great respect for her. Sue has announced she will be leaving on August 15, which coincides with the retirement of Dan Coats. A new Acting Director of National Intelligence will be named shortly.
And this obviously coming right after codes announced he was stepping down. Now, the President just a moment ago tweeting that he is announcing an acting DNI to replace Coats, the Honorable Joseph Maguire, current Director of the National Counter Terror Center. So we're going to talk about that in just a moment.
First though, Bob Baer with me former CIA operative - oh, sorry, Alex Marquardt. Alex, let me go to you first. I've got -- I've got Sam and Bob here. But first, Alex, can you tell us about Sue Gordon and the significance of why she is leaving before I asked you about Maguire? ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it's hugely
significant. This might not be a name that is known to the general public, but within Intelligence and National Security circles, Sue Gordon is very well known, very well respected, decades in the business both at the CIA and the Office of Director of National Intelligence.
There were a lot of people in that community who really wanted to see Sue Gordon stick around and be named acting DNI, especially when there is a political appointee named in the vein that we expected Trump to want his DNI. You want someone who knows the community well to essentially hand-hold a political appointee.
And then when Dan Coats announced that he would be stepping down on August 15 and the President did not name Sue Gordon as acting DNI, there's a lot of fear within that community. You can be sure, Erin, that there is some excitement, some happiness within the MAGA crowd, within the Trump base.
Tonight, the ones who believe in the deep state and who want to root out people like Sue Gordon between wanting to name someone like Ratcliffe, John Ratcliffe, the Congressman from Texas who had very little foreign and intelligence experience and then not naming her as acting. Gordon knew that her time was likely very limited.
We do have not just statements from the President and Sue Gordon tonight but also from the Republican Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr. Now, remember, Erin, whoever Trump names to be the next DNI has to get through the Senate Intelligence Committee and you can hear the nerves up on Capitol Hill when you look at Senator Burr's statement. I'm going to read just part of it.
He says, "This is a significant loss for our intelligence community. Sue earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues." He says, "I will miss her candor and deep knowledge of the issues." So you can see there that he is rather skeptical of the process, that he is nervous that someone like Sue Gordon is not around anymore as of August 15th.
As you noted at the top there, we do now have a new Acting Director of National Intelligence as of the 15th. That is Joseph Maguire who is the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center.
[19:20:07] The reason that it's so important to have that acting in place now is because the President knows that it is going to take a while to confirm whoever he names as the DNI.
MARQUARDT: Not only are we in recess now, the Senate isn't coming back until September, but if past is precedent, that person will likely have maybe at least a little bit controversial and that means it could take some time to get through the Senate, Erin.
BURNETT: All right. So, Alex, thank you very much. A lot breaking at this moment. So now as I said, Bob Baer, the former CIA operative and former Senior Advisor to the National Security Adviser under President Obama, Sam Vinograd.
Sam, let me just start with Sue Gordon. We've just gotten her letter, a resignation letter. It is very short and sweet and to the point. We're not getting a Jim Mattis clear read between the lines. It's a simple, "I'm retiring. You are in good hands." That's the operative line.
But you have the Republican Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman, Richard Burr, "Sue Gordon's retirement is a significant loss for our intelligence community." It's not a small thing.
SAM VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It's not a small thing. I remember working with Sue Gordon in situation room meetings when she served under President Obama. This is an example where experience, Sue Gordon's experience was a strike against her when it came to President Trump. Having served a myriad presidents, she knew how the intelligence community work. That's why she was in the position that she was in.
What we've seen here is President Trump decide, yet again, that he knows better about how the process should work. He is going against established procedures of the entire intelligence community with respect to the line of succession and acting director to say, "I know who's better for this job." He's named an acting director now.
BURNETT: Right. The number two that the guy that I don't want around anymore because it's his number two, I want her out.
BURNETT: That's it.
VINOGRAD: He doesn't want that experience. And Erin, my concern is what kind of message does this send to the intelligence community if you show that you have experience, if you show that you have candor, is the President going to pass you over or worse yet punish you? President Trump has made clear that he doesn't want a Director of National Intelligence. He wants someone to help the Attorney General and his investigation and just tell him what he wants to hear.
BURNETT: So Bob, how significant is this, Sue Gordon's departure?
BOB BAER, FORMER CIA OPERATIVE: This is bad. It's really bad. She was a professional. She was a contemporary of mine. She knows her way around the intelligence community like nobody and she would also call a spade a spade.
If she were around when the Russians interfere in our elections in 2020 and they will, as everybody knows, she would come out and say it and I think that's exactly why Trump wants her out because he doesn't want a professional that's going to deal in fact. He just doesn't want to go into a second term if he gets one, having been elected by the Russians or making it look that way.
BURNETT: Sam, this comes as a foreign service officer resigned from the State Department and penned an op-ed today. I want to just read from it. Chuck Park is his name. He writes, "Over three tours abroad, I worked to spread what I believe were American values: freedom, fairness and tolerance. But more and more I found myself in a defensive stance, struggling to explain to foreign peoples the blatant contradictions at home."
He actually says he sort of was complacent. He had perks with his job, so he just stayed on. But then mentioning that his son was born in El Paso, he writes, "I can no longer justify to him, or to myself, my complicity in the actions of this administration. That's why I choose to resign." Is it a good or a bad thing for someone to speak out so publicly as he is doing?
VINOGRAD: I think it's important that we're seeing people from Jim Mattis to this foreign service officer make clear that this is not the normal way that things are supposed to work. You can always disagree with the President on policy. This guy is saying he does not want to be complicit in policies that harm U.S. National Security and that's a decision for every member of the diplomatic corps or the intelligence community, but President Trump --
BURNETT: He's being honest. He's saying, "I stayed with it because I had perks."
VINOGRAD: He's being honest.
BURNETT: "I've been there for a long time." It's hard to just say, "Oh, I'm going to just up and out on principle."
BURNETT: And he did it for two years, but now he is.
VINOGRAD: Yes. He's being honest but at what point is intelligence being politicized? At what point is the work of foreign service officers being politicized to serve the President's, I don't know, ego or personal goals? That's not advancing foreign policy. That is advancing unfortunately, the President's worst impulses at this point.
BURNETT: And now for acting DNI, the President's announcing it's going to be Joe Maguire. Bob Baer, as we learn more about him, obviously, counter terror background, has been in the U.S. Navy until 2010. This is the picture that we have here of Acting Director of National Intelligence. The President just announcing that by tweet now.
BAER: Well, it's better than Ratcliffe, let's put it that way. If we had to take a choose, Maguire is much better. Yes, anybody is better. I mean, we need professionals in there. This administration's foreign policy is failing everywhere from Iran to North Korea and we need somebody to tell the truth to the President and to the public. And if he's the one to do it, so be it.
BURNETT: All right. Thank you both very much. I appreciate your time. And next, Democrats moving closer to impeachment.
[19:25:01] Jerry Nadler, according to a source, now backing an impeachment inquiry. He is OUTFRONT next. Plus, the fight for 2020, Tom Steyer, new to the race but surging ahead of some really big well known names like Cory, and Beto, and Amy and he's OUTFRONT.
[19:29:14] BURNETT: Breaking news, an impeachment earthquake, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Jerry Nadler now considering formally recommending articles of impeachment against the President of the United States. In a moment, Jerry Nadler, the Chairman will be my guest. He, of course, is the person who will lead any formal impeachment proceedings.
He and Speaker Nancy Pelosi are the two names who will make history on this issue in Congress. And at this hour, Nadler's committee is now engaged in a full blown investigation. Manu Raju is OUTFRONT live on Capitol Hill. And Manu, your source is telling you that Nadler is there.
MANU RAJU, CNN SENIOR CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The House Judiciary Committee is moving forward to determine whether or not to recommend articles of impeachment against this president, something that could be decided later this year. Now, as soon as the end of this year - now, recent four fights statements by top Democrats make very clear that that's the direction they're moving in.
And as we're seeing Democrat after Democrat formally call for impeachment inquiry, Democrats are saying, well, what the House Judiciary Committee is doing, it was essentially that, investigating whether or not to impeach the president of the United States. Look no further than the lawsuit that was filed just yesterday to try to compel Don McGahn, the former White House counsel, to appear before the House Judiciary Committee, comply with the subpoena after the president told McGahn not to comply with that subpoena.
In that lawsuit, it says the committee is actively considering articles of impeachment against this president, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed that language, also endorsed similar language that was in a separate lawsuit and increasingly, she is leaving the door open to moving forward.
But, Erin, the ultimate question is whether they, in fact, move forward or instead rely on this language in the lawsuit to try to convey to the court to turn this information over? That's the big question for them in the days ahead -- Erin.
BURNETT: All right. Manu, thank you very much.
And OUTFRONT, as I said, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jerry Nadler.
Chairman, thanks so much. Good to see you in person. So --
REP. JERRY NADLER (D-NY): Good to be here.
BURNETT: Look, I know that you are doing, what you've called a full blown impeachment investigation, that you have been doing that. Obviously, you know we've spoken with someone familiar with your thinking and we asked, do you support the impeachment inquiry? The source told CNN, it's as clear as day.
NADLER: Well, I think it's important not to get hung up on semantics. The fact is we are doing an investigation. We are investigating the facts. We're investigating the evidence.
We are going into court to get witnesses, all with a view toward deciding and recommending to the House whether to impeach the president. We have the power to vote articles of impeachment. And we are investigating now to get the evidence to decide whether to do so.
BURNETT: So, are you waiting on anything from the House speaker? Because obviously, publicly, she has --
NADLER: No, we are not.
BURNETT: You're not waiting for her (ph)?
NADLER: We are not waiting from the House speaker. The House speaker has been very cooperative. We could not have filed the lawsuit without her. The House counsel filed the lawsuits, the House counsel who pushed the speaker.
BURNETT: She's not publicly saying it, but she's -- you're saying but she is there?
NADLER: She is cooperating with the committee's investigation. The committee has gone into court to force Don McGahn to testify. Don McGahn is the key fact witness who is -- who --
BURNETT: Mentioned 500 times in the Mueller report.
NADLER: Mentioned 500 times in the Mueller report. But he testified to Mueller that he witnessed at least 10 instances of criminal obstruction of justice by the president. And so, he is now the -- the Mueller report is a summary of evidence. We want to get the direct evidence. We want his testimony as to those criminal obstructions of justice by the president.
We also want testimony from other people about other violations of law, about the -- you know, the Mueller -- the hearing that we had gave the lie to three things that the president and the attorney general were saying. They were saying that the Mueller report exonerated the president, that it showed no collusion, that it proves no collusion and no obstruction.
To the contrary, all of those three statements are false. The report did not exonerate the president. The report shows considerable evidence of collusion -- that the --
BURNETT: Right. It didn't establish to a criminal level of conspiracy as opposed to evidence of collusion.
NADLER: Conspiracy but it did more than that.
NADLER: It showed that the Russian government tried to subvert the election to help Trump. That the Trump campaign knew about it --
BURNETT: And welcomed it.
NADLER: -- and welcomed it and cooperated in many ways with it and that the president then lied -- and others then lied to investigators.
BURNETT: So, what a lot of people say, OK, you say let's not get wrapped up inwards. But words can matter when they -- when they apply to what information you can get and how the American people see it, right?
So I'm trying to understand, because a lot of Democrats -- they don't want to be forced to vote for an impeachment inquiry. But they presumably would be willing to vote for impeachment itself if you presented them with the evidence.
NADLER: Well, there's no -- there is no such thing. The committee has initiated an investigation into the question -- into the various malfeasances by the --
BURNETT: So, you're saying this is exactly the same as what we call formal impeachment proceedings by another name?
NADLER: This is formal impeachment proceedings. We are investigating all the evidence. We're gathering the evidence and we will at the conclusion of this, hopefully, by the end of the year, vote to -- vote articles of impeachment to the House floor or we won't. That's a decision that we'll have to make.
But that -- that's exactly the process we're in right now.
BURNETT: All right. So when you says it formal impeachment proceedings, have you started drafting or preparing any articles of impeachment should you need them?
NADLER: There are articles of impeachment that were introduced a number of months ago and were referred to the committee. And as the investigation proceeds, we may want to draft our own articles of impeachment that may more closely fit the evidence. We'll see.
BURNETT: So, OK, when you talk about Don McGahn and others, and others things you want. You want all the backup data, you want to be able to talk to whomever you want. But when people hear impeachment inquiry, and they think ala Watergate. When am I going to see this parade of people, when am I going to see them testify, like we saw Michael Cohen, like we saw Bob Mueller?
(CROSSTALK) NADLER: Hopefully, we will see witnesses in the committee in September and October, witnesses whom we don't have to use court orders to get there.
[19:35:09] Hopefully, we'll get court orders for people like McGahn and Hope Hicks and various other people. And if we get McGahn we'll get the others because the legal arguments are the same.
BURNETT: That's what you're fighting for, though. So, that's the --
NADLER: But the legal arguments -- but the legal arguments are the same.
BURNETT: But you think -- are there some people who are of true importance who you're going to get in September and October? Are there any examples you give us --
NADLER: I'm not going to give any examples now, but I think there will be witnesses. And remember, we are not limited to the Mueller report.
NADLER: To evidence of collusion with the Russians and to obstruction of justice. Those are two key elements obviously, but there is the question of unconstitutional and illegal violations of the Emoluments Clause, that is to say enrichment to the president and whether there is any evidence that he did that. You know, getting money from foreign powers --
BURNETT: There's certainly a lot of questions about that.
NADLER: There's certainly a lot of questions about that. There are other -- the hush money in the campaign --
BURNETT: So you are currently looking at those things as well right now?
NADLER: Yes, Michael Cohen was sent to jail for illegal campaign finance use of hush money. And the evidence was the president instructed him to do that. It was for the president's benefit. That would certainly be something we are looking.
BURNETT: So, you're looking at things like quid pro quos for why he is -- has a U.S. policy adjusted (ph) on, say, Saudi Arabia, and you're looking at money flows, you're looking at all things like that?
NADLER: Conceivably, conceivably, yes.
BURNETT: So I want ask you to about something else. I don't know if you saw this. Obviously, you saw the president went to El Paso and Dayton. And when he was in El Paso, he went to a hospital, as you know. When he was in there, there was a cell phone video of a conversation that he had.
And so, he is there, eight people there recovering. Obviously many people died. He was praising the medical staff for response. And then he said this. This is the moment captured on video. Here he is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I was here three months ago we made a speech and we had -- what was the name of the arena? That place was --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The impact.
TRUMP: Right? That was some crowd.
UNIDENTIFEID FEMALE: Thank you, everybody. Thank you.
TRUMP: -- twice the number outside.
Then you had the crazy Beto. Beto had like 400 people in a parking lot. They said his crowd was wonderful.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: What do you say to that? That's what he said in the hospital.
NADLER: Well, it shows the president's incredible self-absorption, when he should have been thinking about and talking about the people who were murdered, murdered in El Paso, the fact that the manifesto of the murderer tracked his language and that he may have bear some responsibility for getting people to think that the country is under invasion and they have to protect it by murdering people.
And then the least that he is in hospital where people are recovering from serious injuries and all he was concerned about is thinking about his crowd compared to Beto O'Rourke's crowd. Just a self-absorbed, selfish individual. And period (ph) -- and the fact also is, we -- he is part of the legislative process, the president is.
NADLER: The House of Representatives reported a very serious legislation to prevent gun violence. We reported legislation -- our committee reported it to the House. The House voted.
NADLER: Adopted a bill for universal the background checks before people can get guns to plug some loopholes in that. And it's been over 160 days. Mitch McConnell refuses to take it up in the Senate.
The president, although he said he was in favor of background checks legislation, has refused to urge Mitch McConnell or the Republicans to take it up. When are they going to start protecting the American people? BURNETT: Chairman Nadler, I appreciate your time. Thank you.
NADLER: You're welcome.
BURNETT: And next, 2020 contender Tom Steyer made himself a name, calling for Trump's impeachment. So, he will react to Chairman Nadler and what is Steyer's plan to get voters to see him as more than a single issue candidate. He's OUTFRONT.
And Joe Biden pressed on whether he believes President Trump is a white supremacist said this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I believe everything the president says and has done encourages white supremacists.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[19:42:55] BURNETT: New tonight, the fight for 2020.
New to the race and leap-frogging some nationally known names for 2020, tech billionaire investor Tom Steyer, pulling ahead of Beto O'Rourke, Cory Booker, tied with Amy Klobuchar, in a new poll in a crucial must-win state of Iowa and he joins me now OUTFRONT.
Good to have with you me, Tom. I appreciate it.
So, what do you think the reason is that you are ahead of people who have been on the debate stages, who've been campaigning around the country as formal candidates for quite some time, like Klobuchar, O'Rourke and Booker?
TOM STEYER (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Look, Erin, I have a very simple message, which is this -- we have a broken government. It's been purchased by corporate cash. We need to restore government of, by and for the people.
And who better to do that than an outsider like me who for 10 years has been organizing coalitions of ordinary American citizens to take on unchecked corporate power and beating it.
BURNETT: I want to ask you about the breaking news this hour because it's very rely relevant to you. The person who would lead an impeachment inquiry in the House, Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler is backing proceedings. Now, look, you have devoted your life over the past two years to this topic. Your PAC spent over $74 million on impeachment efforts, Tom. How does this news tonight about Chairman Nadler feel to you?
STEYER: Erin, it feels great. Almost two years ago, we started the Need -- I started the Need to Impeach campaign which was basically going to try and encourage outside Washington to get the American people's voice heard to say, we know we have a corrupt president, we know he's met the criteria for impeachment. And we -- there is a cost to keeping him in. He is dangerous to the American people and the American Constitution.
And at this point, what we can see is we got over eight million people who've signed our petition. We've got the majority of the Democratic Congress people on our side, including as you say, the chair of the judiciary committee. And we've clearly won the argument that this president is the most corrupt in American history, and has more than met the criteria for impeachment.
[19:45:04] But I think the other thing that's going on here, Erin --
STEYER: -- that needs to be brought up today is this. We said all along he is a danger to the American people. You can see in the mass killings that we're seeing that leaving him in office with his racism and his atmosphere of hate is something that's very expensive to Americans. We said it was dangerous to leave him in office. And I think we saw this weekend exactly how dangerous that could be.
BURNETT: I want to ask you about Joe Biden. He was asked whether President Trump is a white supremacist in the wake of the horrific shooting in El Paso. Here is how he answered today at the Iowa state fair.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: Why are you so hooked on that? You just want me to say the words, so I sound like everybody else. I'm not everybody else.
I'm Joe Biden. I've always been who I am, I'm staying the way. He is encouraging white supremacists. You can determine what that means.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Is Joe Biden right to refuse to call Trump a white supremacist?
STEYER: Look, I think that there is no question that he's aligned himself with white supremacists, that he's encouraged racial hatred, that he has encouraged an atmosphere where that is permissible and where he is pushing those ideas. Certainly at -- and so, I always say to people, my mom used to say, how do you judge people and she said, can you look into their heart, and I've always said, only God gets to look into hearts.
What we get to do, we simple human beings, we get to judge their actions. This president's actions have been terrible. They've involved distinct racism. Since the day he came down that escalator in the Trump Tower -- racism, hatred, division, as un-American as anybody could ever be.
BURNETT: Look, Elizabeth Warren today called him a white supremacist. It's become a thing you're willing to say or not say. You did tweet today, Trump is a racist and a white supremacist. STEYER: Of course, he is, but I think there's a different question here, Erin.
BURNETT: So, are you comfortable saying -- OK.
STEYER: Yes, I am. He is a racist and white supremacist. I'm not fighting that. But I'm making a different point.
STEYER: It's one thing to say it. For two years, we've been saying impeach the man and get him out of office because he's broken the law, because he's met the criteria for impeachment and because he is a racist. That's always been in the background.
You never see one cockroach, with Donald Trump. All the cockroaches are right there. And so, sure, he is a racist. He's also met the criteria to be impeached.
We have had a chance for two years to hold this man to account. I'm very proud of Chairman Nadler for stepping up and realizing we have to hold him to account because he is a danger to the American people.
BURNETT: So, Tom, what do you say to Joe Biden who won't those words that way?
STEYER: Erin, it's not just a question of the willingness to call Mr. Trump a racist and white supremacist. There is a question of what do you want to do about it? For two years, I've been saying this man is a threat to the American people. That he is a danger to the Constitution and he should be impeached.
If it's so bad, then why aren't you willing to come out and impeach him and remove him from office? If it's such an affront to the deepest American values, isn't it right to stand up in public and say this is dead wrong, impeach him, he's got to go. That's my question, why aren't you doing that?
BURNETT: Tom Steyer, I appreciate your time. Thank you so much tonight, sir.
STEYER: Erin, thank you very much for having me.
BURNETT: And OUTFRONT next, Elizabeth Warren pulling closer to Joe Biden in a crucial state. So, what's the surge?
And Jeanne Moos on why a Trump fund raiser has some people breaking up with their gym.
[19:51:55] BURNETT: New tonight, Joe Biden again slamming President Trump in Iowa a day after comparing him to the avowed white supremacist George Wallace. Biden now saying the sitting president may be worse than a white supremacist.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REPORTER: Do you believe that the president is a white supremacist?
BIDEN: I believe everything the president says and has done encourages white supremacists. And I'm not sure there is much of a distinction. As a matter of fact, it may be even worse. If you notice, the one time he used the word white supremacy, he was -- it was not -- he talked about sleepy, he was awful sleepy in the way which he talked about it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BURNETT: Biden referring to Trump's remarks Monday, right, which were from a teleprompter.
This comes as a new poll shows Elizabeth Warren surging in Iowa. She was at 7 percent in April. Now, this latest poll at Monmouth University has her at 19 percent.
Now, Biden is still on top with 28, but that number has not moved.
Jeff Zeleny is OUTFRONT.
Jeff, is the Biden campaign worried about Warrens' -- I mean, obviously that time frame very sharp, but it has been a steady build of momentum for Warren.
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: Erin, good evening. There is no question the Biden campaign is keeping an eye on Elizabeth Warren because of her trajectory. She is growing, she is rising and even more than that, on the ground here in Iowa, she has what most Democratic officials tells me is the best organized, most early organized campaigns.
She was here months and months before Joe Biden was, so she has been doing basically what Barack Obama did in 2007. She has many of the same people on board, county by county organizing and that is what wins the Iowa caucuses. So, that is what worries the Biden team about Elizabeth Warren.
But this is what doesn't, Erin. As long as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are splitting that progressive vote, that is good for Joe Biden. Joe Biden benefits from the large size of this field. He is still holding his own in this race after a very rocky debate performance in Miami, and then a more solid debate performance, but certainly not spectacular last week in Detroit.
So, the Biden campaign now certainly is appreciative of their front running spot, but I actually asked the former vice-president today as we were walking with him through the fair here, if he believes that he's the front runner. He's like, look, I've been through a lot of these races before, it's six months to go.
So, Erin, that is the case here. He must still prove that he is the front runner, but it's certainly better to be holding his own than following -- Erin. BURNETT: All right. Thank you very much, Jeff Zeleny, live from the
state fair in Des Moines.
And next, Jeanne Moos on why President Trump had some gym goers worked up tonight.
[19:57:51] BURNETT: Tonight, why some are saying a Trump fund-raiser is giving them an excuse to quit working out.
Here's Jeanne Moos.
JEANNE MOOS, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everybody out of the pool. OK, not everybody, just the ones who say they're boycotting Equinox and SoulCycle. It can be so wrenching.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The gym is like a second home to many of us.
MOOS: But because Steven Ross, the man whose company owns Equinox and SoulCycle, is throwing a fund-raiser for President Trump, a boycott has some trying to decide how to break up with their gym.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm really bummed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not going to quit.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm leaving the club.
MOOS: Leaving it with an up-raised finger or a new name, Equinot.
Celebrities led the exit. Chrissy Teigen tweeted; Rough day at Equinox. Posting the auto reply, her friend got when he canceled his membership. At the moment, we are experiencing extremely high volumes of emails.
We're not sure if Michael Moore was serious. That's it. Just canceled my SoulCycle membership.
This conservative didn't buy it. Yeah, because we know you're a regular on the front row at SoulCycle.
Andy Cohen equivocated about Equinox.
ANDY COHEN, CELEBRITY TV HOST: I still have time left on my membership. I'll probably be there doing cardio today. I don't know.
MOOS: No equivocation from comedian Billy Eichner: Hey, Equinox, what's your policy for cancelling memberships? Once a member finds out your owner is a enabling racism and mass murder?
(on camera): But one person's boycott is another person's opportunity to slack off.
(voice-over): Thank you, God, for giving me another excuse not to go to the gym.
See these muffin tops? They're political.
This Equinox member seemed prepared to sacrifice his feet.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'd rather have plantar fasciitis without treatment than having to support in any way anything affiliated with Trump supporters.
MOOS: As for that Equinox pool in the sky, someone tweeted: Nice pool. Too bad about all the blood in it.
And all those slogans, SoulCycle spin.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Find your happy place.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Find your soul.
MOOS: Find the door is the line boycotters are peddling.
Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.
BURNETT: Thanks for joining us.
"AC360" starts right now.